‘Very heartbreaking to see:’ Hidalgo County crisis team responded to tragedy in Uvalde
The Hidalgo County Crisis Response Team was one of the first teams from the Valley to provide aid in the city of Uvalde.
The team spent several days at the Uvalde Command Center, handling federal and state crisis services for the victim’s families.
"It was very heartbreaking to see what was happening to this community - especially because of the children that were impacted through this,” Hidalgo County Victim’s Unit Director Rosie Martinez said.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Hidalgo County district attorney sends staff to assist Uvalde families
After the mass shooting at Robb Elementary, the Uvalde district attorney reached out To Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez for help. Rodriguez responded by sending the crisis response team from the county victim’s unit.
“Considering, unfortunately, the individuals that passed away, we knew they were going to need some help,” Rodriguez said. “We made sure that we provided services the best we could."
The DA sent a five member crisis team – all of who are professionally trained to respond to mass casualty events.
“The initial response was to try and get the families to identify their loved ones,” Martinez said. “There were some children that were taken to San Antonio for treatment of their injuries and the ones that were deceased, we were giving the death notifications to the families, assisting in the process,"
The team also helped families set up funeral and burial services for their children.
“While we were there, we identified the need of immigration relief for some of the families,” Martinez added. “We contacted the Mexican consulate to come in and help us bring in immediate family members from Mexico through Eagle Pass."
Once they returned from Uvalde, the team started strategizing plans with the Hidalgo County judge in case a mass shooting ever happens in the Rio Grande Valley.
“We need to make sure that we are prepared for the aftermath,” Martinez said. “What's going to happen after an event like that and who is going to assist, and what type of resources or services we have here locally."
Martinez said she made sure her colleagues had access to resources and counselors to debrief from their involvement in Uvalde.
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